Consistency - one of the six methods of influence identified by Dr Cialdini - is all about how an organisation interacts with its customers. It doesn’t necessarily mean doing the same thing all the time. In fact, as a method of influence, consistency is more about maintaining a consistent approach across different platforms.
How many companies, for example, provide a different level of service depending on whether you contact them online, phone a call centre, or visit a branch office? This can be potentially confusing for customers. Differing service levels can easily lead to mistrust; the last thing you want creeping into customer relationships.
So, how can the concept of consistency help you deliver more persuasive presentations?
Despite being reasonably easy to put into practice, it’s surprising how many business presenters fail to successfully implement consistency as a method of influence in their sales presentations. In reality, there is every opportunity for you to shine and stand out from the crowd if you do consistency well.
The starting point is checking the validity of all the data in your sales presentation. Does it all hang together? If you’re quoting numbers or statistics, are you clear and open about the source of your information? Are you backing up your claims with information that gives your audience a sense of security?
In terms of your sales presentation’s call to action (and how you want to keep in touch afterwards), are you providing the audience with contact details that are specific and useful to them, or generic digits that might not even be applicable to their location? There is little point, for example, handing out documentation to an international audience if the printed phone numbers lack area codes or country codes.
Overall, the important point about consistency in sales presentations is to ensure that whatever it is that you’re doing, it fits in with your organisation’s overall approach. This adds to your personal reputation and also to that of your organisation. Consistency is about credibility, if you do it well it’s a win-win for everyone.
This six-part series is based on Robert Cialdini’s methods of influencing people, as per his pivotal 1984 text Influence, the Psychology of Persuasion. We have adapted the six methods of influence to illustrate their applicability to the creation and delivery of memorable, more persuasive sales presentations.
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